Hello from out here in Phoenix, where the wind was rushing through the valley yesterday like it had somewhere important to be and there’s water in the cracks of the street, signaling rainfall from the night before.

It’s a cool morning. We don’t get many of these.

I’m reminded of this time last year, when my family and I spent weeks at a time out at my in-laws house. The pandemic was at an all-time high, so family drove in with an RV to stay since they were working remotely on the other side of the country. We did week-long sleepovers, late-night mahjong tournaments, started a Pandemic: Legacy Season 1 campaign, and overall tried to survive the incredibly windy weather without losing our jackets.

It was a fun time.

Both boys are in the clear of COVID. Wife and I are in the clear as well, according to our tests. Now to play it safe until Baby C arrives. Thanks for the well wishes or positive thoughts.

On to the week that was.

This is a short one this week, as Project: DEED is nearing it’s finish and I really must get back to it as I’m putting this online.

When I started last Monday I had just come off a 100 page work binge the previous weekend. The book is clicking in a lot of ways, and in others I can see where I was clearly trying to pad the word count and move on to the next scene. There’s been MAJOR slicing, if you get my drift. Every day was a good day, as I only needed to edit roughly 12 pages a day to hit my deadline of January 31, but would routinely go above and beyond that goal.

Now I’m less than 80 pages from the finish line. This bit at the end is never as fun, I find. Sure, it goes a lot faster, as you can see that Past You was in the zone while writing the final scenes with these characters, paying off moments, hitting the climactic, emotional peaks you’ve been dreaming of, but it’s also the part of the book you have to pay attention to the most.

If an ending doesn’t stick, if something feels off, or forced, then that can kill the rest of the book. It doesn’t matter if the previous 300 pages were excellent, if that ending slips a little, for one chapter, one page, one paragraph then you could lose it.

So, this is more for me, than anyone else, though I’m less than 80 pages from finishing up the 2nd draft, I should slow it down.

This past week I also started a new blog series, dissecting the book The Imagineering Pyramid: Using Disney Them Park Design Principles To Develop and Promote Your Creative Ideas by Louis J. Proseperi.

I love Disney, and if my creative work improves and becomes more magical because of it, then great.

Join me on this weekly journey. First entry here.

No new book quotes this week, as I’m still reading Van Hoang’s second entry in the Girl Giant series, “Girl Giant and the Jade War.” I love how fast it starts, a reminder to get into the action and moments as fast as possible, especially for a sequel.

Girl Giant and the Jade War

I wrote about the first one here.

It’s always a good time when Jason Pargin writes something new. The former Cracked editor and NYT best-selling author was the lifeblood of that website, epitomizing the ability to see through the “cracks” of the world, dissecting our humanity, and talking about it on as many podcasts as possible.

Here, though, in his newest entry to his newsletter (sign up here), he discusses what it takes to be a content creator and, most importantly, what you have to give up to be one:

Out in the real world, hobbies don’t just provide fun and distractions – they provide status. You can win Cool Points in your friend group for getting good at the sport/video game you all play together, or being fun at parties, or demonstrating an unusual talent, or just having an attractive face. Humans are social animals and don’t find activities rewarding long-term unless there’s some social status reward

Jason Pargin, So You Want To Be A Famous Content Creator…

I’ve had some former heroes and idols fall out of grace in the public eye, albeit through their own selfish and harmful actions. While that’s left me in a state of wondering, “What kind of person am I if I liked that person to begin with?” it’s allowed for some deep soul-searching which, according to every drama film ever, is a good thing?

We tend to sway to the cult of personality types because, deep down, at the base, most kindergarten-level, we want to be friends with them. And that’s fine, I guess, so long as the person doesn’t reveal themselves to be a toxic person with toxic traits oh no look what’s happened to ALL of the internet.

When I started this “writing journey,” I guess a part of me wanted to be that, too. Cards on the table here, right? I wanted to have the kind of personality that would draw people to it, to check out my blog posts with a ferocious regularity, so my writing would be more successful because of it.

That’s not the path I want anymore. If anything, I’d like to make more real, sincere connections with people I meet on here. I don’t want to “be at the top,” like I somehow delusional thought I needed to be. I’d rather be side-by-side, walking to the dream together.

And I’m out. Quick one this week, but I can see the manila folder with the second half of Project: DEED right next to me and I haven’t gotten a cup of coffee yet so, take care.

See you next week.

Thanks for reading,

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Contact: robertmichaelacosta@gmail.com